Zoloft Withdrawal

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andromeda3599
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/11/2005 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello.  I just stumbled across this forum today and thought I could voice some things and hopefully get some answers or advice.  I was on Zoloft for almost year until I quit a week ago.  I've been taking 100mgs for depression/anxiety.  The side effects I experienced were sexual libido low, fuzziness (like living in the clouds), and weight gain.  Other than that, I felt better than I did when I was depressed.  So I figured that I didn't need it anymore.  Stupid me.  My mind feels clearer than it's ever been but physically, I feel awful.  I talked to my doctor in July and she said I could taper off of it but I just kept taking it.  My boyfriend and I broke up a week ago so I stopped taking Zoloft since I didn't want to be on drugs forever.  I didn't want to feel like I had no emotions.  That was how I felt while on Zoloft.  Mentally I feel great.  I have ideas now and crying even feels good!  It seems like before I was just "blah" and didn't feel happy or sad or mad or excited or anything.  I was at this level where I was just there but not really feeling anything.  So I stopped the Zoloft cold turkey and now my mind feels much better.  The physical stuff that comes with this is driving me nuts though.  I don't sleep much, I have incredibly vivid dreams (I used to never remember my dreams and now I remember each one...and they are weird), I get dizzy a lot, my vision seems blurry, I have these tingly feelings in my fingers and toes, and the worse part is the "electric shocks" that seem to run through my body all day.  I feel sick to my stomach a lot and it's hard to eat.  I don't know what to do.  sad I don't want to go back on any medication.  Does anyone have any suggestions as how to treat these symptoms of withdrawal?  I know you'll say "talk to the doc" but I work too much and I go to college full time and I don't have the money to go to the doctor since I"m seeing a physical therapist each week too for TMJ disorder:(  How long is this going to last?  How long before this drug is out of my system.  I'm 31 and I don't want to deal with these physical problems.  I don't want anymore drugs.  I want my mind to be clear and not fuzzy anymore.  Thanks for reading :-)

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 9/11/2005 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Andromeda,

You can use a pill splitter and take half a zoloft a day for two days
then half a zoloft every other day and so on . . . you just went off it too fast. I'm not sure how long the withdrawal will last, but it seems easy enough to get back on a low dose and taper off. Not much to lose.

You are right, we are not doctors so we really don't like to give medical advice.

Keep us posted!

Blessings!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), Hashimoto's, Plantar Fasciitis, Inflamatory Arthritis, High BP, GI Inflamation, Diverticuloses
Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Folic Acid, Synthroid, RX Motrin, Lexapro, Amitriptelyne, Salagen, Lotrel (Centrum Silver, B12, B6, Calcium+D,)


taintedangel
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/12/2005 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I had some of those same symtoms when I stopped taking zoloft. I haven't take the medicine in about 3 weeks and I can honestly say that I have felt better since I haven't been taking zoloft. i'm like you I feel like I have emotions again. I kept trying to tell my psych doctor that I didn't think zoloft was for me and he just kept upping the dose. Im not taking it any more I refuse to. I've noticed that since i quite zoloft my appitite has definately come back around and i've put on a little weight which is a good thing. I'm just have really had a lot of douts about this counseling and medication and wondering why the hell i'm spending all my money on this. I mean honestly I haven't taken medication in 3 or 4 weeks now and I haven't seen my counselor in two weeks; I see her tonight and I feel good i really do. I'm thinking about dropping it all. My husband thinks i'm feeling better cause I am seeing a counselor maybe but maybe i'm just having a new out look on things. I don't want someone to guess at how i'm feeling and sometimes its so hard to describe how i do feel i don't know I'm going to talk to my counselor tonight cause I've really thought about this hard for a few days now and i don't think i want to go any more. then again i know what will happen I'll stop going then I'll feel like a failure. I just need to talk it out with my counselor its just I'm really getting tired of doctors. I've had my fair share of doctors and appointments this year and I'm just plum tired of them. If i could make a living going to doctors I'd be a rich woman lol.

jwoodia
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/12/2005 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Andromeda--
I stopped taking Zoloft after a year almost a month ago. I did taper for 8 days, then went off completely. I had some of your symptoms--not as intensely, though, that it seems you've been having.

I felt the same--NO MORE DRUGS. My father in law, who is in pharmeceutical sales, took me aside and said I should try taking Omega3 and 6 supplements. So, I started taking just one teaspoon of pure fish oil every day. I'd read some studies that some doctors have had real success with depression patients not having symptoms while on fish oil/omega 3 and 6.

I don't know if it's a placebo or not, I really don't. But I feel sooo much better. I take the fish oil, a calcium supplement, and a multi-vitamin, and I really watch my diet. Only "whole" foods--as little preservatives as possible and no trans fats. It's easier than I thought--I work a morning job then I stay home all day with my 1 and 3 year olds, and I do some volunteering, too, so I understand about being busy and not going to the doc.

Anyhow, I feel great--and even my husband has commented on my attitude change. I've lost a little of the weight I gained on Zoloft, too, which is a bonus.

Don't know if it's for you, but it's a thought. The real fish oil isn't cheap--i got it at a natural foods store for $20 a bottle. It has lemon in it, too, so it's palatable. And it's meant to stay refridgerated.

God bless. Let us know how you're doing.

andromeda3599
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/14/2005 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone for your concern. I'm getting a bit better. I'm sleeping better but I still have the dizziness and the "electric shocks". I used to wake up all sweaty but that doesn't happen anymore either. I'm hoping that the Zoloft is finally getting out of my body. I know it wasn't smart going grom 100mg of Zoloft to Zero, but I wanted to be drug free and now I am. My mind is getting clearer by the minute. I don't know about the fish oil stuff. I am a vegetarian so I try to stay away from animal products. Is there anything else you'd suggest? I am taking a multi-vitamin each morning, I'm on Allegra for my allergies and I take ortho-tri cyclen for birth control. I am feeling better though. I'm exercising and stretching and meditating and that really seems to help. I just don't like the dizziness and "electric shocks". I wish they would go away. I suppose these things take time though. Thanks again for the kind words from you all:)

jwoodia
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/14/2005 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
You can get Omega 3 and 6 from Flax Seed, too. You can take it in pill form or get it ground up and put it on cereal or yogurt. It's pretty tasty that way, actually.

dancingtenderfoot
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/11/2008 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I'm new here. My son is 15 and has been on zoloft for over 5 years along with straterra and risperdal.  He has had a hair pulling problem since beginning these meds.  which one caused it, or did any of them?/???? Anyway, he took himself off of it and has stopped pulling altogether.  I am unsure of how long he's been off, but i'd guess at least 2 weeks.  he's doing ok, but has some angry outbursts.  i kind of want him to try taking a small dose, just to taper off, but he isn't into that idea.  i'm nervous about high school and his anger.....any suggestions???

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40568
   Posted 7/11/2008 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Nobody should go off medications with out a doctors help. I would call his doctor and let them know what is going on. He could have some major issues yet from this. So please let his doctor know what is going on.

Also welcome to the forum and to Healing Well.

Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


JohnPeter
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/15/2008 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   

You should be very careful, and talk to your doctor about this. Tapering off extremely slowly is the smartest thing to do.

I went cold turkey two weeks ago, and got so sick I couldn't get out of bed for two days. I'm still dizzy, struggling with nausea, and have been to the ER twice from fainting.

AND - there is no guaranteed miracle cure or quick relief tp going back to the original dosage. I did that immediatly after feeling moderate flu like symptoms, reading that relief was almost granted in 24-48 hours. That's just b--sh--t. I'm still groggy and feel awful. Think about it, it took Zoloft weeks to promote significant levels og serotonin/sertraline in your blood to work, and someone is saying you can refill the depleted levels in 48 hours?

This day, th 6th day after reinstating Zoloft, I have been able to turn on my computer for the first time. Talk to a doctor about withdrawal, don't do this on your own.


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40568
   Posted 7/16/2008 10:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi JohnPeter,

I want to welcome you to HealingWell depression forum. You have given some very good advice on your post. I hope that you continue to converse with us. There is a wonderful group of members here. They are kind and compassionate.

Stay with us,
Best wishes,
Karen...
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


JohnPeter
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/23/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank's Karen :)

I'm from Norway, but have found this forum to be the best one of it's kind, with lots of nice people.

 

Hope you have a nice day :)

 

Best wishes John Peter


La-piola
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/18/2008 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all,
This forum (I found by happenstance) seems to be a good place to talk about odd withdrawl with which no one in my family can empathize.
 
I have been on SSRIs since about 1998 or 1999 for OCD, and upon finding out I may be pregnant, I consulted my psychiatrist to ask if I could halt all at once.  (50 mg/daily)  He said there would be some discomfort...that was an understatement.  Long story short, after the extreme headache and dizziness subsided, I am finding that I am incredibly sensitive, and vacilating between emotional and sobbing to aggressive and angry.  (ohhh, and the pregnancy wasn 't viable so it shouldn't be hormonal).
 
Is this in fact withdrawl?  Or perhaps signs of needing to go back to medication (which I prefer not to do).

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 8/19/2008 4:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi La Piola

It does sound like it could be withdrawal symptons. I would contact your doctor and let them know what is going on and see what they suggest.

You might not have to go back on meds,they might be able to give you something short term to get through this...
Shy


Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

Please remember,I am not a professional..I am just a person who is also fighting depression.


I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They know me here.


Mom2Five
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/19/2008 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   
My reaction has been different, I was not using it regularly (Like I should have I know) but ever since I quit I have been feeling so down I am near my lowest point. i just got insurance and am trying to find a doc to try something else I too hated the fuzzy, disconnected feeling. especially with my kids I can't just be oh well.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/20/2008 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   

La-piola

You are describing the sx many people have when come off of the SSRI/SSNI medicaitons.  Do discuss your sx with your physician if they are unbearable.

Welcome to HealingWell and please keep posting.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


2much42long
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/22/2008 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi!

Someone please tell me these horrible withdraw symptoms will end soon. I was on 100mg of Zoloft managed to wean down to 75 got sick 10 days ago with a nasty cold and was out of Zoloft couldn't get to the store so I just stopped taking them and was doing great until 3 days ago then the brain zaps, crying and yelling spells started. I figure my body was to busy fighting the cold to notice the Zoloft was missing so i just went with it. This is day 11 with NO Zoloft. The brain zaps has gotten better, the crying and meanness seem to be getting worse. One minute I'm freezing the next I'm hot. I just feel so uncomfortable in my skin. No suicidal thoughts just feel really miserable, nausea, can't stand the sight of myself or even the sound of my little kitty's meow. When will this end? here comes the crying again. I hate my life, I'm such a loser and the worst part is i have been on xanix for 12 years and that is only slightly taking the edge off.

I stopped taking the Zoloft for a few reasons I'm tired of being fat (60 pounds over weight), I want my sex drive back, I want my life back! It all fell apart 12 years ago when my son died and I never recovered I have a wonderful husband who just doesn't get it and a beautiful teenage daughter who I don't expect to get it.

Life has always had it's downs for me and I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself and hiding behind one drug (SSRI) after another.

I know all my symptoms are normal BUT living with them is another story. rolleyes

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/23/2008 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  I am so sorry you are going through all of the withdrawal sx from the Zoloft.  I agree that you need to wean off the medication slowly to allow your body to adjust.
 
Feeling better cannot be enjoyed if your having all of these nasty sx.
 
I wish you the best and would like you to discuss a weaning plan with your physician.
 
Kitt
 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


2much42long
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/23/2008 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for replying. I called my doctor today and he can't spare 5 minutes to speak with me till Friday and seeing how I have been off the Zoloft for this long I just can't see going backwards now no matter how horrible the withdrawal is. To have to do it all over again knowing there is a possibility of this again. It does seem to come in waves right now I'm "think" I'm heading out of a bad wave hopefully it will be he only one today which would be an improvement!

I took Zoloft for 5 years in the past and over a week stopped taking them with NO withdrawal symptoms but not this time I guess I foolishly thought it would be the same this time. I'm a warrior and going to keep on marching through this miserableness because I know the other end of the tunnel can't be much further even though I don't see the light yet, i know it's there! I will be soooo much better without the Zoloft. Probably be back tonight "if" the second wave of yuck comes on time!~ Thanks again for your reply!

awakening
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/13/2008 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi - i'm so glad to have found this site and to see that i'm not hte only one who has gone through nasty withdrawal symptoms from zoloft. Is anyone taking zoloft for anxiety as well as depression? and if so have you attempted to stop taking it. This med has helped me alot but i began to notice loss of interest in sex and the whole cloudy feeling--feeling like im lost in a cloud and trying to find my true self again!! i'm praying that i can stop taking it and not have to go back but i'm a bit worried. last time i tappered off the drug i was ok for about 2 months but then i was hit with a big bang of anxiety and dispair- i was forced to go back. currently im at 25 mg down from 50mg-- i'm hoping that in time i can just continue to tapper down until i'm totally off of it. I'm seeing my doctor this week and will explain to him my decision. i would love to hear from any of you on this

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40568
   Posted 10/14/2008 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Awakening,

I just wanted to welcome you to the HealingWell depression forum. If you would like to you can introduce yourself on the introduction thread we have, or start a thread of your own. I think that you will find the members here are wonderful.

Keep posting, I am sorry I don't have a lot to say about zoloft. I tried it years ago and got extreme diarrhea from it. So ;I stopped it.

Best wishes for a wonderful day,
HUg,s Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


sweetheart416
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/15/2008 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow I'm glad to have found this place.  I feel like I'm going crazy.  I can't figure out if I'm still in withdrawal from zoloft or having a bad reaction to my new med (prozac)?
 
I hadn't been on any meds in a decade. After a divorce and some hard times, my counselor thought it might be a good idea to get back on something.  So I started zoloft earlier this year.  I decided to switch from zoloft last month after bad weight gain (god I feel so fat!!! I can barely fit into my clothes anymore and dieting does nothing).  I had been on 50mg.  Three weeks ago I went down to 25mg and added in 10mg of prozac.  After a couple days, the horrible withdrawal started:
 
chills
sweating
headache
nausea
stomach pain
diarrhea
general SICK feeling
but otherwise, mood was ok generally
 
A week after going down, I stopped the zoloft (this was after 8 days on 25mg) and upped the prozac to 20mg.  This was per my doctor's instruction.  A couple days later I just started feeling really awful.  My mood is horrible.  Anxiety is up, I'm really depressed.  Moody.  Crying a lot. Just feel TERRIBLE.  The physical symptoms have stopped, but the emotional symptoms are getting worse.  I don't know what to think.  I took prozac years ago and did well on it.  I don't know if I need a higher dose, or if it hasn't kicked in yet, or if it's more zoloft withdrawal.  I called my doctor this afternoon and am waiting to hear back.  I don't know what to do and am afraid to try anything else. confused   Does anyone have an opinion?  The only other drug I've had such bad withdrawal from was Effexor, about 12 years ago, and that was AWFUL. 

awakening
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/15/2008 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
hi,

I'm not a doctor or anything but i suspect it may be the reaction to taking both meds at the same time - i personally dont understand why the doctor tells you to take them together while tapering off the zoloft considering they're both ssri's(work the same way in your brain) - my understanding(from reading pill books) is that the basic difference between zoloft and prozac is that prozac takes longer to fully leave your system/body. I would run this by your doctor and see what he tells you.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40568
   Posted 10/15/2008 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sweetheart416,

I think that even though both meds are ssri's, it still will take a while for the prozac to get into your system. They are still different medications and one is going out and the other coming in. So try to be patient and see what your doctor says. Hopefully they will call you back and help you.

Oh yes, welcome to the HealingWell depression forum. There is a wonderful group of members here and I am sure you will get a lot of support here.

Being among others who understand what you are going through makes things so much easier. And I really hope that we can help you.

Hope that you are feeling better soon
hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/15/2008 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Sweetheart,

Welcome to HealingWell.

Zoloft has a half-life of about one day. That means that for every day that passes without taking the medication the level in the blood falls by 50%. After one day the level is reduced to 50% of the original level, after two days to 25%, after three days to 12.5%, and so on.

When you stop Zoloft too rapidly a withdrawal syndrome may develop. Symptoms you may be experience are nausea, tremors, lightheadedness, muscle pains, weakness, insomnia, and anxiety. Most people coming off Zoloft have none of these symptoms, some people do have one or more. The symptoms may last 1-2 weeks but in some cases the symptoms gradually decrease over a period as long as a month. I would still recommend that you taper off this medication slowly under your doctor's supervision. Also do ask your physician if he feels it is the Zoloft, the Paxil or a combination of both meds.

It may be very difficult for some to switch.  I wish you the best.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


mtngurl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/19/2008 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
After a terrible 7 years of a long traumatic divorce, I had a emotional breakdown. Doctor prescribed 50 mgs of Zoloft which was more than enough for me. 3 times I tried to taper off Zoloft, with doctor superivison. each time was a diaster. Doctors, told me I would have to be on Zoloft for life and to just accept this. Now, 12 years later, I have spent the last 6 months, slowly withdrawing from the medication, which I can no longer afford. For the past month, I have been without zoloft, but I am now having periodic anxiety attacks, and perseveration about random things, some paranoia, and now sucidial thoughts. What I want to know is, will these effects pass if I can ride them out, or will I need some form of medication? Do I now have a lifelong mental illness, or can I achieve some type of normalicy without medication?
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